Moving your elderly parents into your home can be a difficult decision, but for many families, it can be the best solution for ensuring their parents’ safety, health, and well-being. While many practical considerations exist, the rewards to all family members can be immense.
Consider the following questions to ensure the move is right for you and your loved ones.
- Why do you feel moving your parents into your home is the best option?
- Is your home currently a safe environment for your parents?
- How do your parents feel about moving in with you? Are other family members living in your home on board with the plan?
- Do your parents need help with activities of daily living (ADLs), including bathing and toileting? If so, are you prepared to assist with those needs, or do you plan to have a professional caregiver assist?
Assessing the Situation
Moving elderly parents into your home is a big decision. Assess the pros and cons carefully before deciding. On the plus side, it can provide your parents with the comfort of being in a familiar environment, surrounded by loved ones — this can be especially important if your parents have mobility or health issues that make it difficult to live independently.
Moving your parents into your home can help you closely monitor their health and well-being. You can ensure they take their medication as prescribed, eat nutritious meals, and receive necessary medical care.
However, there are also significant impacts on your family and daily life when you move elderly parents into your home. Considering how this decision will affect your relationships with your parents, spouse, and children is critical. It’s also essential to think about the practical aspects of living with elderly parents, such as modifications to your home, changes to your routine, and the need for additional support.
Taking care of elderly parents can also be emotionally taxing, and it’s essential to make sure that you have a support system in place to help you cope with the added responsibility.
Preparing Your Home
Preparing your home to have an elderly parent move in requires careful planning and attention to detail. Creating a comfortable and safe living space that accommodates your parent’s unique needs is important.
Research how to make your home safe for your elderly loved ones, which may include modifications to make it more accessible — this could mean installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening doorways to accommodate mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs, or adding ramps to the entrance of your home. Ensure there are operational smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, floors are free from tripping hazards, and dangerous or potentially hazardous items are out of reach.
It’s also important to create a comfortable living space for your parents. Consider setting up a bedroom or living area that is easily accessible and includes features such as an adjustable bed, comfortable seating, and adequate lighting.
Finally, ensuring your parents feel at home in their new living space is essential. Add personal touches such as family photos, access to their favorite activities or hobbies, and create opportunities for socialization with other family members or friends.
Communication and Emotional Support
Communication and emotional support are crucial when having an elderly parent move into your home. It’s critical to have open and honest conversations with your parents about their needs and expectations for their living arrangements and your own needs and expectations as a caregiver.
Spend time preparing yourself and your family members for the change that comes with having an elderly parent move in. Encourage open discussion with your family of their concerns or fears, set boundaries and expectations for everyone involved, and ensure everyone is on the same page about the new living arrangements.
Ensure your parents feel valued and respected in their new living space by listening to their needs and concerns and involving them in decision-making.
It’s also essential to identify sources of emotional support for everyone involved. Access online or local support groups for caregivers or elderly individuals, seek the advice of a professional counselor, and maintain connections with friends and family outside of the home.
Strive to be patient and understanding throughout the transition process. Moving into a new living space can be challenging for anyone, and giving your parents time to adjust to their new surroundings and routines is critical. By maintaining open communication and providing emotional support, you can make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for everyone involved.
Managing Daily Life
Managing routines and expectations is essential when an elderly parent moves into your home. Establish clear expectations for you and your parents regarding daily practices, tasks, and responsibilities.
One of the first steps in managing routines is establishing a schedule, including meal times, medication, and daily activities. A routine can help your parent feel more comfortable and in control of their daily life.
It’s also important to delegate responsibilities and tasks. Consider assigning tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or running errands to family members or outside help. By sharing responsibilities, you can ensure everyone has the support they need to manage their daily tasks effectively.
Another key factor in managing routines is to be flexible. Your parent’s needs may change over time, and your willingness to be adaptable by re-evaluating schedules or delegating tasks is critical.
By managing routines and expectations effectively, you can help ensure that your parent’s transition to their new living arrangements is smooth and comfortable. It can also help reduce stress and improve communication within the family.
Seeking Professional Assistance
Professional assistance can be incredibly helpful when an elderly parent lives in your home. Several types of professional help can support you and your parents.
- Personal care aide – assists with ADLs and provides companionship.
- Home health aide – assists with ADLs, provides companionship, checks vital signs, and administers medications under a nurse’s supervision.
- Nurse – provides Medicare-reimbursed in-home injections, tube feedings, condition observation, catheter care, and wound care for eligible patients.
- Physical therapist – provides Medicare-reimbursed in-home occupational, speech, and physical therapy services for eligible patients.
Working with an elder law attorney to navigate legal issues such as estate planning or Medicaid eligibility or consulting with a financial advisor to manage your parent’s finances and plan for their long-term care needs may also be beneficial.
By seeking professional assistance, you can ensure that your parent receives the care and support they need while also reducing stress and managing your responsibilities as a caregiver. Professional services can help you navigate the complex issues that often arise when caring for an elderly parent and provide peace of mind knowing that your parent is receiving the best care possible.
The Bottom Line
For those considering having an elderly parent move in with them, it’s important to remember that while this decision can be challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Caring for a loved one can be a gratifying experience that allows you to strengthen the bond between your parents, yourself, and your family and create lasting memories.
While the transition may have its challenges, it’s important to remember that with patience, open communication, and a willingness to adapt, you can create a comfortable and supportive living environment for your parent.
Contact At Home Harmony to learn how we can help your loved one thrive in their own home or yours with pharmacy packaging and delivery, in-home primary care, in-home monitoring of chronic conditions, and personal care aides. Almost all of our services are covered by Medicare!